Saturday, April 10, 2010
4 Mechanized Brigade take control of UK forces in Helmand
The command of UK troops in Helmand province, Afghanistan, was officially handed over from 11 Light Brigade to 4 Mechanized Brigade today, Saturday 10 April 2010.
The Transfer of Authority took place at Task Force Helmand Headquarters in Lashkar Gah when 11 Light Brigade, who have been in command for the last six months, lowered its flag over the base marking the end of their deployment.
Brigadier James Cowan of 11 Light Brigade said:
"I am immensely proud of every member of 11 Light Brigade. They have endured a difficult tour but shown courage and professionalism at every turn. Their successes have brought security and stability to many Afghan people."
"I want to pay particular tribute to the 61 members of the Brigade who made the ultimate sacrifice. We are all deeply saddened by their loss and they will live on in our memory. Also, our thoughts are with those who have suffered injuries in the line of duty."
Brigadier Richard Felton of 4 Mechanized Brigade said:
"11 Light Brigade have done a fantastic job over the last six months. We will build on the progress they have made here.
"All of 4 Mechanized Brigade are keen to start work and enthusiastic about the difference we can make to the ISAF mission and to the Afghan people."
A ceremony to mark the Transfer of Authority was attended by Governor Mangal, the provincial Governor of Helmand.
He read a prepared statement in English thanking 11 Light Brigade for their efforts and saying that Brigadier Cowan and the servicemen and women in the Brigade would go down in Afghan history:
"None of your losses will have been in vain. You have worked hard to help the people of Afghanistan and we will never forget you."
Brigadier Cowan and Governor Mangal then exchanged gifts. Brigadier Cowan presented the Governor with a brass statuette of a bull, the symbol of the Brigade. In return the Brigadier received a marble minaret.
4 Mechanized Brigade will be deployed to Afghanistan from April 2010 to October 2010.